Government has been called upon to expedite action in establishing the domestic violence fund to cater for the needs of victims of domestic violence as provided for in Section 29 of the Domestic Violence Act 2007 (Act 732).
Mr Abdul-Rauf Alhassan, the Jirapa Municipal Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) who made the call, said it was unfortunate that since the coming into being of the Act in 2007, some victims of domestic violence still go to the hospital and were confronted with challenges of no money to even pay for the cost of the medical form.
Mr Alhassan was speaking during a capacity building workshop for the Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Girls Project (EROP) Support Team at Nadowli in the Nadowli-Kaleo District of the Upper West Region.
EROP is being funded by the Dutch Embassy in Ghana with implementation partnership by GH Alliance, the African Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development (AfCHuRSD) and WOMEN IN NEED (WIN).
He lamented that victims of domestic violence still had to go through the psychological trauma of putting up with their abusers in the same house owing to the absence of a temporary structure that was supposed to have been provided by the fund, but had not yet been provided due to the lack of the establishment of the fund.
“If the fund is established, such temporary structures would be provided to allow separation of victims from their abusers to enable them recover from the trauma.
“The inability of government to establish the fund apart from not making the implementation of the Act complete, is also increasing the vulnerability level of these victims of domestic violence”, the Director said.
Mr Alhassan also appealed to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and development partners to support government in this direction by helping to create the temporary shelters to aid the separation of victims from people who abused them to facilitate smooth recovery.
Mr Umar Yakubu Yaarun, the Nadowli-Kaleo District Director of CHRAJ noted that issues of inequalities and domestic violence were widespread in the district and described the intervention of EROP as timely.
He said the selected participants who were having their capacities built would play a vital role in educating their community members on the prevention of domestic violence and also reporting cases to the appropriate agencies for redress when they unfortunately occur.
Madam Bernice Naah, the Executive Director of AfCHuRSD explained that the project was proposed as a result of the numerous human rights challenges faced by women and girls in particular, which according to her prevented them from realising their rights and also taking opportunities for the advancement of their ambitions.
She noted that the project therefore sought to ensure that women and girls in Ghana realised their human rights and utilize opportunities to better their lot.
The EROP Support Team including; Chiefs, Assembly members, women and girls, and other opinion leaders were taking through various topics including “Gender and gender roles”, “What are human rights?”, “Violence against women”, and “Understanding the causes and contributing factors of violations of women’s rights”.
The rest are “Response services – establishing strategies for their protection”, and “Participation of women in leadership and the situation in Nadowli-Kaleo District”.